Archive for 2014
Dorm life gives students a bit of home on campus, but not all items you use at home should make the trek to college. The housing department at your future college sets the standards for items that are allowed and prohibited in the dorms. Most of the restrictions are based on the protection of all students living in communal housing. Reviewing the specific restrictions for your college helps you avoid breaking any rules.
With so many people living in one building, colleges need to ban items that present a fire hazard. Incense, candles and any other items with open flames are not allowed in dormitories. Smoking cigarettes or cigars is another activity banned in and around dorms. Halogen lamps are generally considered a fire hazard and are not allowed on campus. Some colleges prohibit certain types of curtains because they may not meet fire safety requirements.
Many appliances are banned in dorm rooms due the potential for overloaded circuits or fires. A small dorm refrigerator and microwave are usually allowed, but other cooking implements are prohibited. Leave appliances such as hot plates, toasters, electric skillets, toaster ovens and indoor grills at home. Window air conditioners and space heaters are also commonly found on prohibited item lists. These appliances use a lot of power and can overwork the electrical system. Check on the use of extension cords, as colleges often ban them as another way to prevent a heavy load on the circuits.
Pets are generally not allowed in college dorms. Animals make messes and often cause damage that colleges don't want to deal with. Pets also make noises that may disrupt your dorm neighbors. It's tough to leave a favorite pet behind, but college students are often too busy to take care of pets anyway. Some colleges do allow small fish tanks in the dorms. You still have pet-care responsibilities with fish, including remembering to feed the fish and cleaning the tank. Decide if you want that responsibility before setting up an aquarium in your room.
Colleges vary on the furniture allowed in the dorms. Some colleges provide all of the furniture necessary for you and don't want additional furniture in the rooms. Most dormitories lack excess space, so a full-sized couch or other large furniture may not fit even if they aren't prohibited by the college. Loft beds are also restricted by some colleges. You may need to purchase the lofting kit from the college or meet requirements on the maximum height. Homemade lofts are sometimes prohibited to reduce the risk of a falling bed.
Drinking alcohol and alcohol abuse is a rising problem on college campuses. Binge drinking is detrimental to academic performance, as well as health and personal relationships. In an effort to curb this problem, many college campuses have instituted alcohol treatment programs. Students also commonly have access to psychological counseling on campus. However, statistics show that the students who consume the most alcohol may be the least likely to seek treatment.
Drinking on College Campuses
Some statistics suggest that the number of non-drinkers on campuses nationally is increasing. Some college campuses provide activities that do not involve alcohol, but not all students take advantage of these. In fact, in 2005, 44 percent of students attending four-year college drank at the binge level.
Consequences of Binge Drinking
The health consequences of binge drinking are obvious. Besides the risk of being injured or injuring others while driving under the influence of alcohol, it is estimated that 30,000 students annually seek medical attention after overdosing on alcohol. Alcohol abuse is highly correlated with unsafe sexual practices, such as having unprotected sex, or engaging in non-consensual sex.
Community Influences on College Drinking
Some colleges and universities ban alcohol on campus. Even so, alcohol is often easily accessible at low prices at nearby nightclubs and bars.Statistics show that binge-drinking among college students correlates positively with binge-drinking among adults in the community. Also, states with stricter alcohol control policies have lower incidences of binge-drinking among college students.
Solutions to the Problem
The most widely proposed solutions to the problem of binge-drinking on college campuses include strengthening the penalties for alcohol and campus, and providing activities that do not include alcohol. Some people suggest that 'destigmatizing alcohol' is an important first step. These people maintain that it is vital to stress to young adults that alcohol is not the problem, but the abuse of alcohol that leads to detrimental consequences.
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A sweet deal for students
Razer gave thin and light gaming a major kick in the pants when it introduced its Blade laptop last year. It earned a 9 verdict (and our respect) in our review of the $2,000 model, which offered up impressive gaming performance in a package measuring just 13.6 inches by 9.3 inches by 0.66 inches (that's 0.05 inches thinner than a dime when you stand it up) and weighing 4.1 pounds. This year's refresh upgrades the 14-inch QHD+ territory (3200x1800), so what do you do with 'old' models? Apparently you try offloading them on students for a 20 percent Promotional Code.
For a limited time, K-12 and higher education students can receive a discount code good for 20 percent off the purchase of one Razer Blade 2013 laptop. The code doesn't apply to the Pro model, nor does it work with the 2014 model Razer Blades.
Last year's Razer Blade laptops start at $1,800 and include a 14-inch display with a 1600x900 resolution, Intel Core i7 4702HQ processor, 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics, 128GB hard drive, 1.3MP webcam, built-in stereo speakers, backlit anti-ghosting keyboard, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, Killer Wireless-N 1202 (802.11n + Bluetooth 4.0), 70Wh battery, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.
There's also a $2,000 model with a 256GB SSD and a $2,300 SKU with a 512GB SSD. The 20 percent discount should work with any of the three configurations.
If you're interested, you can register for your discount code on Razer's website.
According to his friend ReSEt, Promise moved to a general ward as his condition had improved considerably.
- insideKLoL (@insideKLoL) March 17, 2014
Min-ki was admitted to the hospital on March 12 with multiple fractures and internal bleeding after he landed in a recycling bin. He remained in critical condition until recently. A charity event was started by Inven, a Korean e-sports association. The League of Legends community raised over $20,000 for Min-ki's medical bills in its first day (check out our coverage of that here).
Min-ki left a suicide note that outlined an elaborate scam orchestrated by his team's manager, Noh Dae Chul. Chul allegedly bet against his team and forced Min-ki and his teammates to intentionally lose professional League of Legends matches. Min-ki also alleges that Chul stole prize money, sold off the team's computers and evicted them ( here is our detailed report of the initial incident).
This prompted an investigation by KeSPA, Korea's state-run e-sports association. KeSPA released its findings yesterday. The original report can be found here and a full translation can be found on reddit league of legends.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/20m5c0/kespa_has_released_the_ahq_incidents/">Reddit
. The report backs up most of Min-ki's allegations. KeSPA interviewed Casper, Hoon, Trace, and Actscene (Min-ki's teammates' League of Legends code names), and they vouched for Min-ki.
The report translation notes that Chul told his players "OGN (OnGameNet, Korea's e-sports television network) has a tradition of receiving money from big company teams that join the league as an "Advertisement fee. However, because our company is from Taiwan, the company couldn't understand and refused to pay. When I told OGN that AHQ (the team's Taiwanese sponsor) does not want to pay, OGN said if you cannot pay the fee, you must lose the game against the big company teams."
Various details of the thrown games are shared in the statement.
The only two parts of Min-ki's account that KeSPA deemed inaccurate were as follows:
- Min-ki stated that his team had given up first blood (the first kill for either side in a League of Legends match) in each thrown game. Review of the OnGameNet footage showed that this wasn't true.
- Min-ki indicated that Actscene was also participating in the throwing of games, but KeSPA found that, while Actscene had agreed to the fix before the matches, he didn't actually go through with it in the games.
The spokesman also mentioned that KeSPA will be monitoring its teams more closely to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.
To donate to the fundraiser for Min-ki, go here.
The demo I was shown of Sneaky Sneaky was quite cool, and it sounds like Naiad has a lot more content planned for it, including implementing some more RPG type elements. They're shooting for a summer release, so we'll keep tabs on its development and let you know when it's available.Discount
Efforts to expand Tesla Motors sales were dealt a blow this week when New Jersey officials decided to ban the premium electric car manufacturer from selling directly to consumers.
Tesla is now forced to sell through independent franchise dealerships like mainstream automakers, essentially barring all sales in the state for now. But the loss or benefit to consumers has been lost in finger-pointing between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the administration of Gov. Chris Christie.
The bulk of new car sales in the United States go through independently owned dealerships, which act as a middle man between the big manufacturers and the consumer. Most states have regulations restricting direct sales, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), though New Jersey is now one of the few that ban the practice outright.
The relatively tiny Tesla pursued a different model. Tesla "stores" are small, sometimes fitting inside a shopping mall, with only a handful of cars. Buyers order their cars direct from the factory and have maintenance performed at regional service centers. The strategy keeps overhead costs down for Tesla. But as Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book explained, it is not necessarily a benefit to the consumer.
"The current franchise system helps maintain consistent selling practices for dealers while it contributes to the local economies, so there are definite upsides to the franchise system," he told ABC News.
"However, a direct-to-buyer system would allow manufacturers greater control over the entire process while making it more efficient, meaning automakers wouldn't just design, engineer and price the cars but also control the sales atmosphere and the specific transaction pricing," Brauer added.
In theory this could reduce sticker prices Promo Codes vehicles, Brauer noted, but it is equally likely a manufacturer would simply pocket the difference.
"Neither system is necessarily better than the other. They just have different upsides and downsides," he said.RELATED: Christie's Tesla Problem - How it Could Impact 2016 Race
For roughly a year, Tesla has operated two stores in New Jersey that will likely be forced to close when the decision takes effect April 1. Company officials raged against the ruling and in a blog post accused Christie, whose office is under a high-profile investigation for alleged abuses of power, of using his state's Motor Vehicle Commission as another political cudgel and yielding to the powerful car dealers lobby in the Garden State. Tesla also accused the administration of reneging on a previous agreement to delay the ruling until the state legislature could address the debate publicly.
Christie's office has largely distanced itself from the issue, however, only stating that Tesla saw the decision coming and motor vehicle officials were strengthening existing law.
Neither Tesla nor Gov. Christie's office responded to requests for comment by ABC News.
But the leader of the car dealers lobby said the debate is not purely about protecting auto dealers' livelihoods, but consumer protection as well.
Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, said in an interview with ABC News that warranty and safety recall issues would place manufacturer-owned lots in a conflict of interest.
"The fox is in charge of the chicken coop [in a direct-to-buyer model]. The manufacturers sees a warranty as headache and expense, while a retailer sees the warranty and safety recall claims as an opportunity," he said, pointing out that since dealers gets paid by manufacturers to service warranties and recalls they have a natural incentive to report them.RELATED: GM Rebuts Claim that 303 People Died in Recalled Cars
Appleton pointed to the recent scandal involving General Motors recalls as evidence that manufacturers could not be trusted to run large lots. As for the potential savings from the distribution model, he argued that even if Tesla or other manufacturers attempted to lower sticker prices, the difference would be negligible.
"They talk about eliminating the middle man but they don't eliminate the middle cost," he said. "They have the expense of employees, the expense of advertising. The cost of retailing is the cost of retailing."
New Jersey is a booming luxury car market and its Newark-Elizabeth seaport, the largest in the US, imported and exported up to 700,000 vehicles in 2012, according to the Port Authority.
So where do the big manufacturers, who also hold a big interest in this debate, stand? They've been relatively mum. Kelley Blue Book's Brauer said it's because for them, this fight is a win-win scenario.
"If Tesla is successful at changing these laws, it will encourage the big automakers to consider following Tesla's lead," Brauer said. "Of course, the dealers, the NADA and their lobbyists all know this, which is why they will fight to keep the current laws in place. If Tesla is forced to follow conventional retailing practices, which means using a local dealer to sell its cars, that will cut into Tesla's control and cost structure, making it more difficult for the fledgling automaker to succeed. In either scenario there's an upside for conventional automakers, so this is really a no-lose situation of them. They can just sit back and enjoy the show."
The split between Tesla's popularity and the entrenched dealership model means neither side may win outright, however.
"It would take a lot of time and a lot of dedicated money from Tesla to break through that system, and I don't see Tesla expending those resources," Brauer added. "We'll likely see a compromise situation where Tesla will get some very limited latitude to continue operating the stores [Musk has] already opened while also requiring him to work with NADA on future stores."
While the NC will be contesting from all the three seats in the valley, the Congress will take on the BJP in the two seats in Jammu and one in Ladakh.
"Yes, we have formed a pre-poll alliance," state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz told HT, adding that the decision was taken in a meeting held by the high command in Delhi.
The meeting, headed by Sonia Gandhi, was attended by Union ministers Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmad Patel and M L Fotedar, among others.
While the NC has repeated Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar, Mehboob Beg from Anantnag and Sharief Din Shariq from Baramulla, the Congress is likely to repeat Madan Lal Sharma from Jammu and Chowdhary Lal Singh from Udhampur.
Also, a Congress candidate will contest from the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat with the support of the NC. That will split the six Lok Sabha seats from the state equally between the two alliance partners.
While National conference wanted an alliance due to the inroads made by the PDP and the BJP in the Valley and in Jammu, respectively, a certain section of the Congress leaders wanted to contest from the Valley as well.
"We should have gotten at least one seat in the Valley, the Jammu region seats seem difficult as the BJP is very strong there,'' one of the Congress leaders said on condition of anonymity. Sources said state Congress leaders wanted to contest from two Jammu seats and from Baramulla in the valley.
bjd ties up with jmm
Though Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had refused tie-up with Left parties for 2014 polls, he has entered into a seat sharing agreement with a relatively smaller party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
Patnaik announced the arrangement on Friday after meeting JMM's Odisha president Sudam Marandi.
JMM has a presence in two tribal districts of Odisha, Mayurbhanj and Sundergarh, which together have 16 assembly and two Lok Sabha seats.
"The alliance with the Biju Janata Dal will help us ushering in development in both the backward districts," Marandi said.
BJD vice president and panchayati raj minister Kalpataru Das said both the parties would be working out seat adjustment in few constituencies of both the districts.
Easton, PA (PRWEB) March 03, 2014
Famous Smoke Shop is an online distributor of discount premium cigars specializing in offering the web's widest cigar selection, best prices, and expert customer service. The company has just announced its release of new cigar promo codes they will offer. Each coupon is applicable to any order made through Famous-Smoke.com or over the phone at 1-800-564-2486
Starting now, Famous Smoke Shop will be extending coupon offers to all of it's customers to take advantage of free products and instant cash back off their order through the middle of this month. Some of the coupons available are $20 instant cash back on any order over $200, free 6 pack samplers and 5 packs with an order of $125 or more. There are also bonus 5-packs, bonus ashtrays, and even free boxes of cigars with an order, as well as other bonus items. No matter what a customer wants to order, they are able to use a coupon on it to either save money or get free product ranging from La Floridita to Arturo Fuente.
Each order allows customers an opportunity to receive instant cash back of bonus items and every order may be able to include a coupon. This allows customers to customize their orders and get more for the money they spend.
Since the coupons were released, there has been a big splash at Famous Smoke Shop by customers rushing to take advantage of the deals. All of these deals and coupons are available not only on the web but through phone orders as well. People interested in learning more about Famous Smoke Shop's cigar promo codes can call 1-800-564-2486 or log on to Famous-Smoke.com. Customers should be advised that restrictions may apply on particular items. Full restrictions can be easily viewed on the company's website.
About Famous Smoke Shop
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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/famous-smoke-shop/cigar-discount-codes/prweb11635426.htm
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'Infinity Blade III', 'The Room Two', 'Final Fantasy IV', 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown' and More All On Sale
If you spot any other noteworthy sales, feel free to fire off in the comments and let everyone know.
Yesterday's big scoop from Bethesda was the announced details of the "Imperial Edition" to the upcoming MMO Elder Scrolls Online. Shortly after the news, several PC digital retailers slotted up on the digital shelves Standard and Imperial Editions for preorder. Not only do the preorders come with preorder bonus incentives, but there's also a 20% (update: now 25% off) coupon code slashing a huge chunk out of the listed price.
Accordingly, The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition drops to $64.00 $60 from $80, while the Standard Edition drops to $48 $45 from the $60 list price. Since the announcement, the Imperial Edition preorders has been outselling the Standard by a significant margin. This may have to do with what's included in each editions. Judge for yourself below:
The Elder Scrolls Online: Digital Imperial Edition (PC Download) - $60 at Green Man Gaming after coupon. List is $80. The official release will be April 4th, 2014. In addition to the discount, the Imperial Edition includes:
- 5 day early access (begins March 30th)
- 30 days of included game time
- "Explorer Pack" DLC, which is actually 3 bonuses in one, allowing you to play any race in any Alliance (except Imperial), bonus treasure maps, and a Scuttler vanity pet
- Ability to play the Imperial race
- Ability to craft Imperial equipment
- Ability to transform into Imperial equipment
- Rings of Mara (quest)
- Mudcrab vanity pet
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC Download) - $45 at Green Man Gaming after coupon. List is $60. The official release will be April 4th, 2014. In addition to the discount, the Standard Edition includes:
- 3 day early access (begins April 1st)
- 30 days of included game time
- "Explorer Pack" DLC, which will allow you to play any race in any Alliance (except Imperial). The Explorer Pack also includes bonus treasure maps and a Scuttler vanity pet.
In other gaming deal news this week, there are quite a few good PC gaming deals, especially with GameFly's 25% off coupon (GFDJAN25) on select Ubisoft titles. The FPS PC shooter finally made its way to Steam on January 28th. The game still carries its $4.50 off preorder bonus at GameFly, and you can use the previously mentioned coupon to drop the price to $7.87 - nearly half off the game's $14.99 list price.
NewEgg has an instant savings + coupon code discount for Borderlands 2, dropping the hit 2012 title to only $5.39, a new low price for the game. Lastly, GameFly's running an " Ubisoft Hits " sale on five Ubisoft titles. All are at or near their all time lows, including Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag for only $22.50 - a new low by $7.50.
More Hot Deals
Ubisoft Hits - up to 75% off instantly at GameFly and up to 80% off after coupon. All the titles below are at or near their all-time lows.
Tuesday's release: Rekoil (PC Download) - $7.87 at GameFly after coupon. List is $15.
Borderlands 2 (PC Download) - $5.39 at NewEgg after coupon. List is $20.
Feb. 20: Men of War: Assault Squad 2 (PC Download) - $22.40 at Green Man Gaming after coupon. List is $40.
Feb. 25: Thief (PC Download) - $31.50 at Green Man Gaming after coupon. List is $50. GMG's 30% off coupon for this title ends tomorrow, January 31st at 8AM Pacific.
Feb. 27: Resident Evil 4 HD (PC Download) - $14.99 at GameFly after coupon. List is $20. Preorders also get a 60+ track digital music album and a 80+ page digital archive.
Mar. 18: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4, Xbox One) - $35.99 at NewEgg after coupon. List is $40. This is the first Metal Gear Solid title to offer open world gameplay with a new FOX game engine.
Mar. 18: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Xbox 360, PS3) - $26.99 at NewEgg after coupon. List is $30. A little less expensive than its next gen big brother release. It's a wonder how long Sony and Microsoft will roll out new titles for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Summer 2014: Alien: Isolation (PC Download) - $37.49 at GameFly after coupon. List is $50.
Gaming Capable Laptop Discounts
Alienware 18 Haswell Core i7-4700MQ, Full HD 1080p, Dual GeForce GTX 765M SLI, 8GB RAM - $1,949 at Dell Home after coupon. List is $2,099.
Alienware 17 Haswell Core i7-4700MQ, Full HD 1080p, GeForce GTX 770M 3GB, 16GB RAM (Refurbished) - $1,458.99 at eBay. List is $1,999.
Razer Blade 14-inch Gaming Laptop, Core i7-4702HQ, GeForce GTX 765M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD - $1,799 at Microsoft. List is $1,999.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p 59405095 Core i7-4700MQ, GeForce GT 755M 2GB, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 8GB SSD - $799 at Lenovo after coupon. List is $1,279.
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Today marks the Year of the Horse in the chinese new year cards calendar. Before you feast on the celebratory delicacies Las Vegas has to offer TravelsinTaste suggests several unique ways to ring in the new year.
You can take in some culture by checking out the dynamic and colorful lion dances which will commemorate the Year of the Horse at Bellagio, ARIA, The Shops at Crystals and MGM Grand. Yau Kung Moon will perform the Chinese lion dances in a traditional Southern Shaolin Kung Fu system, a collection of martial arts with more than 1,000 years of history. Yau Kung Moon, which translates to "Style of Flexible Power," is one of the world's most respected martial arts, dragon and lion dance organizations. Known for its trademark gold uniforms and innovative routines, Yau Kung Moon has been recognized internationally for being the first U.S. team to compete in the 1990 Invitational World Lion Dance Festival in Malaysia.
Alternatively, you can visit Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens which has ushered in the new year with a display featuring seven life-size horses parading atop a three-tier mountain with a majestic gold stallion at the peak; the total number of eight represents good fortune in Chinese culture. At the entrance an 18-foot-tall custom-made Chinese money tree symbolizes prosperity, good fortune and nobility. The lucky tree flourishes with 384 oversized gold-leafed coins on its branches as mounds of I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese symbol for money, surround its base.
Then there's always shopping. The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas offers Lunar New Year revelers glamorous ways to ring in the new year. "Chinese New Year is an important holiday for our retailers, and many of our brands, such as Lalique and BVLGARI, have created limited specialty pieces in honor of the Year of the Horse," said Farid Matraki, Vice President and General Manager of Crystals. "We enjoy creating an unique experience for all of our customers. In the case of our Chinese shoppers, they will discover that many of our retailers accept China Union debit and credit cards, as well as our concierge desk. In addition, our tenants also have in-house representatives that speak Mandarin and other dialects." Crystals recently welcomed famed crystal designer Lalique to its repertoire, marking the house's first standalone Las Vegas location. The animal kingdom served as founder René Lalique's main source of inspiration, and the brand brings the nature of the horse to life with The Equestrian Collection. The series pays tribute to the creature's varied poses and graceful movements through stunning vases and sculptures. Furthermore, Crystals recently became home to the world's largest Tourbillon boutique, which offers one of the only wristwatches equipped with a traditional Chinese calendar. The Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel watch by Blancpain is based on the fundamental principles established for millennia and is profoundly rooted in Chinese tradition.
After the excitement one can partake in a holiday feast at some of The Strip's hottest Chinese restaurants. At Rice & Co., in Luxor, one can start with Pan Fried Pot Stickers: dumplings filled with pork and vegetables and served with a ginger soy sauce. Then continue with a choice between House Mixed Greens or Egg Drop Soup. Next Next one can savor Kung Pao Chicken, stir fried with celery, bell pepper, onion and roasted peanuts. Guests will cap off the meal with exotic fruits and berries. "At Rice & Co., we have created modern interpretations of Chinese favorites such as Beef and Broccoli and Garlic Shrimp, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients available," said Rice & Co. Executive Chef Ray Kwong. "The holiday is a very important and exciting day in the Chinese culture and we look forward to showcasing our finely prepared menu items to Las Vegas guests and visitors."
Meanwhile Jasmine at Bellagio presents its "Kung Hei Fat Choy" menu, offering luxurious twists to celebratory Chinese New Year dishes. Vegas high-rollers can enjoy the Braised Abalone, created with sea cucumber, goose web, golden oyster, mushrooms and sea moss. The Panfried "Wagyu" Strip Loin, seasoned with black pepper and garlic, is sure to become a new holiday tradition. "Bellagio's restaurants offer traditional Chinese New Year offerings while also implementing luxurious twists," said Bellagio Executive Chef Edmund Wong. "An incredible meal at Jasmine or Noodles, paired with the festive Lion Dances and stunning Conservatory décor, will truly create a fun and memorable experience for our guests."
Enjoy and most importantly, Happy New Year.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (NBC33) - It has only been 17 days and according to studies a majority of Americans have already given up on their New Years resolutions.
In fact, January 17th is the most common day that resolutions are broken. In light of that, Smokey Bones is offering an alternative for those who have already called it quits.
In a Friday-only event, Smokey Bones will give you a $5 gift certificate for every pair of gently used tennis shoes that are donated.
"We're hoping to have people that are willing to bring their shoes, donate them to a wealthy cause, Nike Reuse a Shoe, and give them to families in need," says Danielle Hamilton, a server at Smokey Bones. "There are a lot of families in need that need shoes out there, we're just trying to help our community a little bit by whatever we can do."
The gift certificate can be used at any time until the date the Promotional Code expires.
The diplomatic bargain struck by the United States and Iran this week is the Obama administration's greatest diplomatic triumph. Efforts by the US Congress to derail it would, if successful, constitute a self-inflicted strategic wound even more myopic than its vote to endorse the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That vote, after all, was only endorsing a mistaken policy set in the White House. This one would be a rebellion against a White House decision that promises great benefits to the United States.
Congress, it turns out, is filled with Republicans and Democrats eager to act as enablers for the most repressive forces in Iran. It is an astonishing spectacle: an alliance between brutal Iranian institutions, principally the Revolutionary Guard, and elected representatives of the American people. Both are deeply invested in the paradigm of hostility, and both are in a state of near-panic at the prospect of reconciliation between Tehran and Washington.
Hostility toward Iran may not be the silliest of all American foreign policies -that would probably be the continuing trade embargo of Cuba - but it is undoubtedly the most self-defeating. No step the United States could take anywhere in the world would bring strategic benefits as great as détente with Iran. It has tantalizing potential. Iran's interest in stabilizing the violence-torn countries on its eastern and western borders, Iraq and Afghanistan, closely parallels that of the United States.
In recent days, much has been made of al-Qaida's takeover of the Iraqi city of Falluja, where dozens of American soldiers were killed in 2003-4 and the bodies of several memorably strung up from a bridge. It is indeed painful to reflect that the blood of those soldiers may have been wasted. But since the United States is not prepared to return to Iraq, what can it do to stop the advance of radical militants there? Iran, the neighboring power, is even more opposed to al-Qaida than is the United States, and even more eager to support the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. It is the west's logical partner in that fight.
Iran can help douse fires that threaten to engulf the Middle East and surrounding regions. But those fires, awful as they are, do not truly threaten the United States. One development in that part of the world, however, has devastated Iranian society and is killing Americans every day: heroin trafficking. Nearly all the world's heroin comes from poppies grown in Afghanistan. In recent years heroin addiction has become a full-blown national crisis in Iran, and last week Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont asserted in a dramatic speech that his state, like others in the US, is facing a "full-blown heroin crisis". That makes the Afghan heroin trade and the metastasizing violence of al-Qaida two enemies that threaten both the US and Iran. If these two countries can begin working together, they will be more able to confront these two scourges than either could do alone.
This week's accord with Iran, which was signed by five other powers in addition to the US, is the first step in what could become a process that will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and allow it to work with the west in confronting serious security threats. Beyond that, it lays the basis for a process that could turn Iran into a normal country that respects basic human rights at home and exports stability instead of instability. There is no chance that America's longstanding Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, could evolve that way. Yet this deal has evoked passionate opposition in Washington. Why?
It is a safe bet that many of members of Congress, including more than a few of the 59 senators now trying to kill the US-Iran peace process, would struggle to identify Iran on a map. Many, however, cling to the belief that the only true test of any American foreign policy is whether Israeli leaders support it. The Israel lobby in Washington has turned the Iran deal into a life-or-death struggle. It is no accident that leaders of the war party, like Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, have received huge amounts of campaign money from that lobby. Nor is it strange that Hillary Clinton, who is eager for the lobby's support in her upcoming presidential campaign, has been deafeningly silent on this issue.
The strategic logic of rapprochement between the US and Iran is clear. If the Super Sale taking shape holds, it will promote American security interests and could begin a profound process of transition within Iran. The campaign against it, while perhaps logical in the eyes of politicians looking for campaign donations, is based on stupefying ignorance. Blocking this deal would be an act of diplomatic vandalism as damaging as any that Congress has inflicted in living memory.